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Thursday 21 March 2019
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Blogger refused ID photo for coloured hair

Local blogger Julie Mango with her blue and pink hair.
Local blogger Julie Mango with her blue and pink hair.

A local blogger has posted she was initially refused an ID card photo because of her half pink and half blue hair.

Julie Mango (who asked her name not be made public) in her blog theislandalien posted that on March 14, 2018 she went to the Tunapuna branch of the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) to renew her ID card. After taking a photo she received a telephone call from a female official at the branch telling her they were unable to process her ID card because of her hair colour.

She received another call from a male official who told her hair was unnaturally coloured, inappropriate, against policy and because ID cards are for business purposes she needs to have a "professional appearance."

She told Newsday in an email response that the response from friends, family and the public to the post has been general disbelief and some outrage.

"Many of my peers are now concerned about their own renewal process as even those who have had coloured hair or facial piercings on IDs in the past no longer know how they will be treated. Of course there has been some backlash against me from people who do not seem to understand my point. I do not wish to break any rules, I only request that there be policies in place to handle situations like these, instead of allowing government workers to hang up on people and refuse to answer questions."

She said in response to her blog post people have come out and publicly said that they know of no such policy, and they have coloured hair in their photos.

She reported at 12.39 pm on March 15 "I received another call from the EBC.

"Unlike previous interactions, I was politely told that they received word from the CEO that I can come back at my convenience and take a new photo with my hair as it is now, just put into a ponytail."

Julie Mango said she personally follows dress codes in Government buildings but "I also believe that they are sexist and archaic, and are based in a reality that no longer applies to our country."

An official from the Tunapuna EBC said they would not be able to speak on the matter but confirmed they spoke with the individual and rectified the matter.

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